Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Tell me what you use to wash and vacuum your Model 3 at home.

Jun 2, 2021
8
17
New Jersey
We recently moved from the city to the 'burbs and own zero car wash stuff, other than a hose, a pressure washer and a bucket. What are your favorite cloths, soaps, sprays etc for cleaning the interior and exterior of your Tesla? I'm starting from scratch!
 

tjg312

Member
Apr 14, 2021
26
36
CT
optimum no rinse is pretty damn handy to have if your car isn't completely filthy. I like to do a rinseless wash with that then dry with turtle wax wet wax.

For the interior I usually use chemical guys ceramic detailer and/or 303 aerospace
 
  • Like
Reactions: robotwitharose

D.E.

Uncorked
Oct 12, 2016
767
1,016
Ann Arbor, MI
I suggest you get a foam cannon, $15-$20 on Amazon. If you have a gas powered pressure washer, consider an electric. It doesn’t develop anything like the pressure and volume from a gas model but it’s good for car washing and it’s much easier and quieter to use. The foam lifts the dirt and makes it almost a no touch system. Then get a leaf blower. Use that to remove the water after washing. Then a waffle weave microfiber towel to remove the residual water. For a vaccum, I’d get a small (smaller than a shop vac) wet/dry vacuum but still develops the 5 hp. It costs more than a weaker vacuum but it’s a very strong vacuum, and you can use it in the house if you have a water spill. Mine came from Lowe’s. If you don’t have a digital kitchen scale, get one of those (Harbor Freight), under $20, I use that to add the soap to the foam cannon, you use 1-2 ounces and it’s easier to tare the empty container then pour in 1-2 ounces by weight, than it is to try to measure the thick sticky liquid with a measuring spoon. The foam wash concentrate is more expensive than the other car washes but it lasts a long time and leaves a clean glossy finish. I think mine’s from Chemical Guys (out of town, can’t check). For more details and wash tips, see my note in the Tesla S group, “Things to get for your new Tesla”. Mine’s 4 years old now and the paint is still perfect.
 

joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,149
1,033
Encino, CA
It depends on what kind of wash you want to do. A traditional 2-bucket wash with a foam cannon is best if your car is super dirty, but it uses a ton of water and, IMO, is often unnecessary. A rinseless wash using ONR works great for light to moderately dirty cars. Over the past year, I have done at most 2 traditional washes. The rest of the time rinseless has worked just fine.

Since you asked for specific product recommendations:

Favorite wash pad (I prefer a pad over a wash mitt):

Favorite foaming traditional soap: Chemical Guys Honeydew

Favorite rinseless wash soaps: ONR, Wolgang Uber, or Mckees 37 N-914

Favorite interior cleaner: Chemical Guys Inner Clean or Mckees 37 Fast Interior Detailer

Favorite Ceramic Sealant/Wax: Griots Garage 3-in-1 Ceramic Wax or Xtreme Solutions Poly Seal

When drying the car, you definitely want to use a drying aid to provide lubrication and reduce the chance of inducing scratches or swirls. My favorite drying aid is Ammo NYC Hydrate, but most spray waxes such as Meguiars Ultimate Quick Wax will also work. I also LOVE Xtreme Solutions Topper as a drying aid.

Car washing and detailing is my favorite hobby, so feel free to PM me if you need any other suggestions/recommendations.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bwbrs

N54TT

Member
Aug 14, 2018
974
756
NY
52E6488B-1C95-42D6-A882-D5DB0A1E8B65.jpeg


I’m a detailing enthusiast as well. For routine washing my latest setup is a kranzle k1122tst , cr spotless dic 20, mtm pf22 foam cannon, either ez detail brush or microfiber madness incredibrush, regular old loop microfiber pad and microfiber madness incredipad, lambskin wheel mitt, small detail brush and Tufshine tire brush. For drying I use my ego blower and gyeon silk dryer towels. For soap I use adams car shampoo both in the foam cannon and wash bucket and adams tire cleaner. It’s overkill especially since my car is already coated…but I end each wash with Gyeon wetcoat. Since its a spray and rinse….it keeps the paint, wheels, windows and windshield nice and slick without another step of dragging some sort of towel over the paint…plus its super quick to apply. If I have an issue with the sun I’ll pull the car into the garage and use Gyeon cure. For tire dressing I use CarPro PERL, which is great. ZERO sling and lasts the longest of any tire dressing I have tried before. For the interior I just use water and a microfiber towel. I have a combo of Gyeon microfiber towels, and towels I bought from autogeek and obsessed garage.
 

Operatorsjy

Scarlet
Jun 11, 2021
40
43
Ontario, CA
which products do you guys use to get rid of clear coat scratches? i tried meguiars ultimate compound that i had laying around but that didn't get rid of them. maybe scratch x?
 

bwbrs

Member
Sep 9, 2020
47
27
NJ
which products do you guys use to get rid of clear coat scratches? i tried meguiars ultimate compound that i had laying around but that didn't get rid of them. maybe scratch x?

How did you apply it? How deep are the scratches?

Machine polishing with the correct pad + product combo usually makes short work of what you're trying to correct. Paint correction by hand is a different animal that is going to take lots of patience and elbow grease (unless trying to do more delicate surfaces / edges, but that's a different topic) and you're most likely not going to achieve the results you are after.
 
  • Like
Reactions: joebruin77

Operatorsjy

Scarlet
Jun 11, 2021
40
43
Ontario, CA
like 10 years ago when i owned a Z i think elbow grease did the trick. now i'm just more inclined to just wrap the whole damn car lol.

but i applied it using the instructions - i didn't create new scratches, but it didn't get rid of the scratches either. so i did it with the applicator pads and did it in circular motions and wiped off with microfiber towel.

maybe i should do i way smaller area to begin with. but if anyone has a product to recommend, please do tell!
 

joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,149
1,033
Encino, CA
which products do you guys use to get rid of clear coat scratches? i tried meguiars ultimate compound that i had laying around but that didn't get rid of them. maybe scratch x?

This is from a Meguiars discussion group (an old post but still applies to your question):

"Ultimate Compound is exactly that- a compound. Compounds have traditionally been products that were nick-named things such as "rocks in a bottle" because they were very coarse, rough, and gritty...good for removing heavy sanding marks or DEEP scratches, but not known for leaving good looking finishes. They themselves left behind a hazy, scratched surface.

Ultimate Compound however is a change for the better as it utilizes NEW, patented, and exclusive technology to Meguiar's known as S.M.A.T, or Super Micro Abrasive Technology. This new technology allows more aggressive defect removal WITHOUT the nasty left-over haze or scratches. In the majority of cases users can go straight from Ultimate Compound to their wax of choice. Occasionally, on soft or unique paints you may need to follow up with something more gentle like ScratchX 2.0 or SwirlX.

ScratchX 2.0 also uses the new SMAT technology, but a very different formulation as it is intended to be a lighter defect removal tool, NOT a heavy compound. It is very unlikely that ScratchX 2.0 will ever need to be followed up with a different product due to it leaving anything undesirable behind. If it does, it almost certainly is due to an outside problem (technique, application medium, contamination, etc).

So, to sum them up, both are intended to remove defects on the surface of the paint, but UC is more aggressive than ScratchX 2.0.

As always, Meguiar's recommends using the least aggressive method possible that still gets the job done- so start with ScratchX 2.0 and then move to Ultimate Compound if it doesn't get the job done."
 

bwbrs

Member
Sep 9, 2020
47
27
NJ
like 10 years ago when i owned a Z i think elbow grease did the trick. now i'm just more inclined to just wrap the whole damn car lol.

but i applied it using the instructions - i didn't create new scratches, but it didn't get rid of the scratches either. so i did it with the applicator pads and did it in circular motions and wiped off with microfiber towel.

maybe i should do i way smaller area to begin with. but if anyone has a product to recommend, please do tell!

Either way, while Tesla paint is soft, UC is still a versatile product that has been an industry standard for years and will continue to be so. Your technique will most likely need adjustment.

If you have a power drill, you can look into buying a backing plate and a few small pads and turning your drill into a polisher. However you need to be wary of how powerful your drill is so you don't create more problems you can solve. If you want to spend a little more money, many people buy this polisher from HF to dip their toes in paint correction before spending hundreds on a brand name machine. 8mm Random Orbit 6 in. DA Polisher/Sander

You can always take it to a detailer for a proper polish or learn to do it yourself. While it can be a little pricey to break into, it's a rewarding hobby if you're patient.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: joebruin77

joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,149
1,033
Encino, CA
Of course, if you or a professional use a compound to get rid of the scratches, you will be removing a thin layer of the clear coat to do so. If you want a temporary fix that will not remove any of the clear coat, you can try using a glaze such as:


This is a polishing glaze that lays down a layer of acrylic. The acrylic will fill in many scratches. It is not a permanent fix, but it will last a few months, especially if you put a sealant on top of it once it cures.

I have personally used this product and it really works well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Operatorsjy

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top